Download At the borders of sleep : on liminal literature by Peter Schwenger PDF

By Peter Schwenger

At the Borders of Sleep is a different exploration of the connections among literature and the liminal states among waking and sleeping—from falling asleep and waking up, to drowsiness and insomnia, to states during which drowsing and waking combine. Delving into philosophy in addition to literature, Peter Schwenger investigates the brink among waking and sound asleep as an immense and effective country among the pressured march of rational concept and the oblivion of unconsciousness.

While interpreting literary representations of many of the states among waking and slumbering, At the Borders of Sleep additionally analyzes how writers and readers alike draw on and input into those states. to take action Schwenger reads quite a lot of authors for whom the borders of sleep are the most important, together with Marcel Proust, Stephen King, Paul Valéry, Fernando Pessoa, Franz Kafka, Giorgio de Chirico, Virginia Woolf, Philippe Sollers, and Robert Irwin. contemplating drowsiness, insomnia, and waking up, he seems to be at such matters because the hypnagogic country, the event of studying and why it truly is various from complete recognition, the relationships among insomnia and writing and why insomnia is usually a resource of inventive perception, and the patience of liminal components in waking suggestion. a last bankruptcy makes a speciality of literature that blurs dream and waking existence, giving particular recognition to experimental writing.

Ultimately arguing that, occurring at the edges of realization, either the analyzing and writing of literature are liminal reports, At the Borders of Sleep indicates new how one can take into consideration the character of literature and consciousness.

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Example text

There are other conditions under which it may manifest itself, and which suggest that hypnagogia does not so much come into existence under these conditions as it manifests an existence that was always already there. This was one of the hypotheses generated by Walter Benjamin as a result of his hashish experiments: When we are conversing with someone and at the same time can see the person we are talking to smoking his cigar or walking around the room and so on, we feel no surprise that despite the effort we are making to speak to him, we are still able to follow his movements.

Any reading of Finnegans Wake consequently takes place at a threshold zone. Perhaps, though, this is only an extreme version of what always happens when reading a novel: however straight the lines on the page, however straightforward the sentences may seem, the reader’s unconscious darts in and out and between the words, evoking associations just barely beyond conscious awareness, but no less powerful for that. 8 All this implies a role for hypnagogia that is not necessarily confined to that certain notch between waking and sleeping.

91) What follows is a list of various other things seen there, which I omit. Shortly after, as Hebdomeros lies in his bed, he sees the classic patternings of the first stages of hypnagogia: Toward Sleep . . 17 Charming ribbons, flames without heat darting like greedy tongues, disturbing bubbles, lines drawn with a brilliance even the memory of which he had thought long lost, soft waves, persistent and unvarying, rose and rose incessantly toward the ceiling of his room. (93) The repetitive patterns and continual transformations of this passage are described in terms of waves, an image that occurs at regular intervals throughout the novel and is used to bring it to its close.

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